Complete Series - Fox supports ballsy series like Arrested
Development, Firefly and this short-lived 1999 comedy in much the same
way the U.S. government supported the anti-Saddam contingent in Iraq during the first Gulf War. It goes in with the
intention of seeing the thing through, but ends up second-guessing itself, flip-flopping and ultimately pulling the
plug. Perhaps this biting look behind the scenes with an action producer named Peter Dragon (Jay Mohr) was too inside,
too nasty for Middle America or just too good for this world (see: Arrested Development, Firefly),
but now at least we can all see what we were missing. The 8 episodes that aired are here, along with the 5 that didn't,
with commentary and a making-of featurette. This edgy send-up was produced by Joel Silver (on whom Dragon is based), and
also features the late Buddy Hackett (who Mohr can parrot perfectly) and the lovely Illeana Douglas.
Class Of 1984 -
Teachers-under-siege movies like The Principal and The Substitute tried to copy the accidental coolness that Mark Lester's 1982 schlocky cult favorite
(itself a virtual remake of The Blackboard Jungle) had in spades. It's about a
teacher (Perry King) who takes on a gang led by a punk (Timothy Van Patten) who snarls and plays the piano real purdy.
Revenge is the order of the day here, and Lester serves it up sweetly, with a criminally underappreciated turn by Roddy
McDowell as an alcoholic biology teacher and a pre-Family Ties Michael J. Fox
as the dorky sidekick, Arthur. Followed by Lester's sequel, Class Of 1999 in
Now if only we could have a DVD of Lester's 1976 white trash classic, Bobbie Jo and
the Outlaw (featuring Lynda "Wonder Woman" Carter in her only clothes-off role).
Death In Gaza -
You don't get much more up close and personal than this harrowing documentary about director James Miller, the British
maker of films like Beneath The Veil and Unholy War, and his shooting death by Israeli soldiers in 2003. Not only does the film document his
tragic end, but focuses on the three Palestinian kids he was profiling at the time. Read more about the effort for
justice for Miller here. Today, HBO Films is also releasing
Left Of The Dial, about the liberal radio network Air America.